Outrun Your Sorrow

Jae

Just Another Escapist


"Uh, ok."

He sat down. Normally he would have walked a bit first to avoid cramps. The blond girl served two small slices, chocolate with chocolate frosting. That was a thirsty combination. He accepted the plastic plate and fork gingerly, taking a sticky bite. She fiddled with hers, poking it into crumbs.

Moms chatted as they pushed strollers. Chirrups of birds and insects accompanied the waking of the city, with its summer heat and bustle. Only the graceful, swaying shade of a willow and the breeze across the pond held it at bay. Beyond the wall of trees was a jungle of metal and stone and exhaust.

"Do you run here often?" Her voice broke into his momentary reverie.

"Every morning."

"I'm gonna need a new pastime."

That came across oddly to him but she didn't seem to mean it that way. He wished he had his water bottle.

"Why do you run?" came the next query.

Easy. "It helps me think."

Her face twisted unhappily at that.

"It also helps me process my emotions," he added.

She grimaced. "Any tips for beginners?"


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Comments (4 so far!)

Average reader rating 4.00/5

Robert Quick

Robert Quick

Hey! This has a positive turn. Maybe it doesn't. I guess I see potential positivity for both of them. I don't know if you ever write longer forms of your stories here, like for contests or to submit to literary magazines, but this could be worth it. I feel like any of the following isn't really applicable here so I'm not sure it's helpful but here are some thoughts I had while reading: I think you should swap the first two lines. Make the action happen, then the dialogue. This could stand alone that way. I was surprised that the runner took the cake without any interior dialogue beyond the thought about cramps. I imagine him as a fit dude who would be worried about calories. I guess I'm projecting my insecurities. But it that kind of interior dialogue would let him talk about all sorts of things and add personality. The line about processing emotions seems too on the nose. It works okay here because of our inherent limit but it stands out to me. I might be crazy though. I am super glad you continued this.

  • #2822 Posted 2 years ago
  • 0
Jae

Jae

I see what you're saying. The calorie concern could have been supplied in a one-liner, but I tried to paint his misgivings in a more descriptive way (sticky, thirsty, etc).

Funny how quickly we derive a typical athlete's figure from a few lines. I have a half baked idea of why the runner runs and it's not solely for exercise, hence the "emotional processing." He's empathetic more than athletic, but any further delving into that idea would have to occur in another installment.

I've never thought of taking these stories and reading them out in long form. Normally I do the opposite.

Thanks for the feedback.

  • #2824 Posted 2 years ago
  • 0
ElshaHawk LoA

ElshaHawk LoA

I think the emotion line at the end is just what she needed to hear. And let's not make assumptions about how fit he is. He did three laps, but we never said how long they are. He could have worked up to it over the past month but still be thick in the middle.

I think you should put the "do you tun here often?" and the "every morning" BEFORE the paragraphs of description. This is because when you read the two together, the dialogue will go quick and is introductory, while the description will give them pause while they begin to eat, time for her to think about a new 'pastime'.

  • #2826 Posted 2 years ago
  • 0
Mighty-Joe Young LOA

Mighty-Joe Young LOA

I was really surprised how quickly I was sucked into both caring and curiosity about these characters. You did nice work here, and I am impresssed.

  • #2831 Posted 2 years ago
  • 0
  • 4 out of 5

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